Betfred Championship news round up

Sheffield Eagles backrower Joel Farrell last week successfully overturned a one-match ban for dissent.
Farrell contested the grade B charge that had resulted in a one-match penalty notice.
The incident came in the recent Championship clash against his former club Batley.
Farrell pleaded not guilty at the RFL disciplinary hearing and was successful, making him available for Sunday’s Coral Challenge Cup clash with Workington Town.
Meanwhile the Eagles are set to host an under-16s touring side from Australia next month.
Queensland-based Capalaba Warriors’ under-16s will be visiting the UK from April 6 to 17, with some tough competition facing them across Yorkshire.
The Warriors will face Leeds Rhinos Scholarship, Milford Marlins, Dearne Valley Bulldogs and Sheffield Hawks during their trip.
Their itinerary will include watching the Eagles take on Oldham at Castle Park, Doncaster on Wednesday April 15, with the Warriors taking on Sheffield Hawks as a curtain raiser.
Capalaba will also take in Leeds Rhinos versus Wakefield Trinity and the Hull derby over the Easter Weekend along with a tour of Old Trafford and a visit to Rugby League World Cup 2021 headquarters.
Former Sheffield Eagles scholarship and Academy coach Craig Weston is now head coach of the Warriors under-16s and said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all concerned at Capalaba Warriors.
“We are really looking forward to the experience and testing ourselves, playing against some tough opponents, which is what the trip is all about.
“I’d personally like to thank the Eagles and Andy Tyers for helping with this trip and we can’t wait to land in the UK very soon.”
Eagles chief executive Tyers added: “It’s great to be supporting the Warriors’ UK visit.
“We don’t see many youth sides from Australia touring the UK so it’s fantastic that Capalaba are coming to these shores in April and hopefully others will follow suit in years to come.
“I personally spent some in time with them last year and their fundraising efforts for the trip were inspiring and I can’t wait to meet up with them again.”
Tyers and Weston both played amateur rugby league together for the then Rotherham Roosters in the late 1990’s and ex-Eagle Brendon Lindsay, now based in Brisbane has also lent his support to the trip.
For more information on the tour, in particular on whether the plans are still in place in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, please email

DEWSBURY RAMS coach Lee Greenwood was delighted with his side’s application in their midweek Challenge Cup win at Whitehaven.
Greenwood handed debuts to Morgan Punchard, James Thornton, Rhys Davies and Tommy Brierley, with Davey Dixon given his first start.
The Rams then came from behind twice to beat Haven 22-16 in horrendous conditions in Cumbria, progressing to the fifth round of the Challenge Cup.
Speaking ahead of the following round against Newcastle on Sunday, Greenwood joked: “They all did well although I couldn’t recognise anybody after ten minutes as they all looked the same.
“It was hard work knowing who was doing what, but nobody shirked their work and they all mucked in for each other.
“It was all about slugging it out, defending well and taking the odd chance and nobody looked out of place.
“Some of those lads were getting back at 2am on Thursday and then going straight to work, and before you know it they were training again ahead of Sunday.
“I read Simon Woolford’s comments on Wednesday night after Huddersfield’s game about struggling with two five-day turnarounds.
“But we’ve certainly done it tough and with all the matches away from home. It was a massive effort to go up there and give it a go.”
Greenwood’s only injury concern going into the Thunder game was centre Adam Ryder, who was not risked because of a minor calf complaint.

WHITEHAVEN coach Gary Charlton labelled his side’s midweek Challenge Cup exit to Dewsbury Rams as “embarrassing”, and he called on his squad to analyse their performances.
Haven’s search for a win against Championship opposition this year continues after the Rams ground out a 22-16 victory in the Recreation Ground mud.
Charlton has seen signs of an ability to compete at this level in his team’s five league defeats to date, but he was disappointed with the manner of their display last week.
Charlton said after the game: “I thought it was embarrassing.
“What we produced there was nowhere near what we produced in the first five games.
“Don’t get me wrong, conditions didn’t help both teams, but what they competed and when they got down the field took their chances.
“I was disappointed with our goal line defence – to let two soft tries in round the ruck from their nine was embarrassing.
“I hope our boys have a good look at that video and are man enough to put their hands up and come up with an explanation when I ask them questions.
“We’ve been talking to the lads all year and saying cut out the errors and go set-for-set with teams.
“In this league that’s what you’ve got to do.
“It’s a big learning curve, but we’ve got to learn fast, otherwise players won’t be selected for our upcoming fixtures.
“I think the lads are fit and do everything we ask of them in training, but we just don’t concentrate enough.
“We don’t get in that arm-wrestle on the field. If we go set-for-set like we did at Widnes and against other teams, then we can match these teams.
“We may be lacking a bit of skill and somebody to take us around the field with a kicking game.
“I’d never usually knock the lads’ effort, but I was very disappointed and all the coaching staff were the same.”

BRADFORD BULLS’ close-season capture Sam Barlow is closing in on full fitness again.
The former Leigh and Halifax forward sustained a dislocated wrist in pre-season, shortly after joining John Kear’s squad.
Having served a four-year suspension for a UKAD violation, Barlow has been itching to return to action, and he is now ready to play again.
Kear explained: “He wanted to play at Wakefield and he might have done if that game had been on the Sunday.
“But we just thought that one more game would give him another nine days and it was prudent to do that and look at the long-term picture.
“He had an operation to insert pins into his wrist, but it’s mobile and strong again now, there’s no problem with it.
“He’s about a week ahead of where we thought he’d be.
“He played well in the friendlies he played for us – surprisingly well – and we’re looking forward to seeing him back out there.”
Backrower Connor Farrell remains on target to be back by Easter, while Leeds loan centre Rhys Evans was unavailable at Wakefield.

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS coach James Webster has confirmed that frontrower Jimmy Beckett will remain at the club for the foreseeable future following his recall from Oldham.
Beckett had been on a season-long loan at the Roughyeds, but returned to his parent club ahead of Friday’s Challenge Cup clash with Hunslet, with Rovers unable to field their own loan or dual-registration players.
There had been a suggestion that the former Castleford Academy player could then go back across the Pennines, but Webster says he is set to stay.
The Featherstone coach explained: “We’ve got Easter and then Toulouse away coming up and can’t afford to have players out, so he’ll be staying with us.
“He’s done alright at Oldham and they were desperate to keep him.
“He’s played some good minutes for them and enjoyed the experience there, but we need him here now.”
Webster had been hoping to have backrower John Davies back from long-term injury on Friday night, but he was unable to train last week due to a sickness bug.
Winger Gareth Gale is out for the next eight weeks after breaking his hand in the home win over Swinton.

LEIGH CENTURIONS halfback Jarrod Sammut is set to discover the length of any suspension at the RFL disciplinary panel this week.
The experienced playmaker has been referred to the hearing in Leeds following his first half red card in the recent win over Halifax.
Sammut has been handed a grade D dangerous throw charge for the tackle on Fax’s Ed Barber, which could result in up to a five-match ban.
Winger Adam Higson was handed a grade A striking charge for a late hit on Steve Tyrer, but escaped suspension, while Danny Addy has been cautioned for dangerous contact in the same game.

OLDHAM coach Matt Diskin says the search for new signings continues after prop Jimmy Beckett was recalled by Featherstone.
Diskin said: “Losing Jimmy will hurt us because as we stand just now we don’t have the depth to compete in the Championship.
“We are weak in one or two areas and we are working hard all the time to bring people in, but it isn’t easy to get the right men.
“There are a couple of names in the pipeline, but we’ve had carrots dangled in front of us and then taken away and it is proving very difficult indeed to get hold of anyone, although the search is going on all the time.”
Better news surrounds forward Liam Bent, who should be fit this weekend following a knee complaint, while prop Jode Sheriffe continues to wait for an operation on a knee injury he sustained in pre-season training.

SWINTON LIONS’ new director of development Damian Ridpath has backed the RFL’s move to introduce expansion clubs such as Ottawa and New York.
Speaking on BBC Radio Manchester’s Rugby League Extra show last week, Ridpath said: “I’m fully supportive of the RFL’s view on this.
“We need to make new markets for the sport and Ottawa, Toronto and New York are all new markets.
“They resonate with fans, with people, and I think it does get bums on seats and people say ‘actually that’s a bit different’.
“Where else would you see Swinton next to an Ottawa or New York?
“If captured right I think its got massive potential for our sport moving forward.

WIDNES VIKINGS coach Tim Sheens is not putting an exact timeframe on Danny Craven’s expected recovery from a broken finger.
Sheens explained: “He’s a week into the four weeks he has to have the splint on before it comes off.
“Then it’s a matter of time before he regains the strength in his hand before he can play again.
“We think it’ll be two to three weeks after that but we’re not being too specific about it at this stage.”
Liam Cooper is back running in straight lines as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, while Logan Tomkins was unavailable at the weekend following the recent birth of his child.

TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE stepped up their relationship with the city’s rugby union club with an opposed training session with them last week.
Sylvain Houles’ squad tested themselves against Stade Toulousain at the Stade Ernest Wallon as part of the growing partnership between the two clubs.
Toulouse, meanwhile, say they will continue to take advice before making any decision on their next home game over the Coronavirus issue, after Catalans’ match with Leeds was postponed on Saturday.
The club is not due to stage a home match until Featherstone visit on Wednesday April 15.

LONDON BRONCOS duo Greg Richards and Sadiq Adebiyi are continuing to make progress from their long-term injuries.
Coach Danny Ward reported: “Greg is five weeks in and has probably another six weeks left on what was a decent tear in his calf.
“Sid is probably still three months away. He needed muscle re-attaching to the bone on his chest and it will be June or July for him.”
Halfback James Meadows is available again after a minor ankle injury that kept him out of the win at York City Knights as a precaution.

HALIFAX hooker Brandon Moore is out of his side’s next two games through suspension.
The former Castleford Tigers Academy player has been given a two-match penalty notice for grade B dangerous contact in the recent defeat at Leigh.
He will sit out the scheduled matches against London Broncos and Swinton Lions.
Fax’s free weekend will allow coach Simon Grix to check on injuries to James Woodburn-Hall and James Saltonstall sustained in the Centurions match.

YORK CITY KNIGHTS’ Perry Whiteley is hopeful of returning to full training this week.
Whiteley has been sidelined recently with a broken bone in his foot.
Kriss Brining won’t be rushed back from a second concussion in 12 months, especially with Huddersfield loan hooker Reiss Butterworth now in the squad.
Halfback Ben Johnston was hoping to return against Rochdale on Sunday, while captain Tim Spears was in line to make the 400th appearance of his career.